Janesville teachers union joins forces with AFL-CIO
The Janesville Education Association will be the fourth teachers union in the state to affiliate with the AFL-CIO, after Beloit, Kenosha and Madison, said JEA President Dave Parr.
JEA members voted “overwhelmingly” to affiliate with the AFL-CIO, Parr said.
The affiliation will not influence how the local union decides internal matters, nor will it change the JEA’s relationship with the statewide teachers union, the Wisconsin Education Association Council, or the national group, the National Education Association, Parr said.
The JEA will have a vote on the Rock County Central Labor Council and will join the council in endorsing candidates and organizing the annual LaborFest and in community-improvement efforts, Parr said.
The JEA will be able to tap into the AFL-CIO’s partners in community-based organizations and the faith community to support public education, a community issue or difficult negotiations, Parr said.
The JEA’s approximately 840 members will combine with other local union members to represent more than 7,200 union voters in Janesville when the combined group endorses candidates, Parr said.
“This will help us elect endorsed candidates in school board, county, municipal and state elections,” Parr said
“We can coordinate political campaigns with the AFL-CIO, combining our expertise and enhancing our education of our combined memberships on the political issues,” Parr said.
Similarly, the unions will be able to mobilize members on key legislative issues and to work on political campaigns, on rallies and other solidarity actions, Parr said.
JEA members will see an increase in their dues payments of 53 cents a month this year that will go to the AFL-CIO, Parr said. That contribution will rise to $1.06 a month next year and $1.59 the third year, Parr said.
JEA members will be able to access AFL-CIO services for members who are “on strike, laid off or simply struggling,” Parr said.
The AFL-CIO lists 1,000 affiliated unions representing 250,000 members statewide.